Challenges and opportunities for siRNA-based cancer treatment

Tao Wang, Sarah Shigdar, Hadi Al Shamaileh, Michael P. Gantier, Wang Yin, Dongxi Xiang, Lan Wang, Shu Feng Zhou, Yingchun Hou, Peng Wang, Weihong Zhang, Chunwen Pu, Wei Duan

Research output: Contribution to journalShort SurveyOtherpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


As one of the life-threatening diseases involving multi-step genetic and epigenetic disorders, cancer has long been a dynamic research area for siRNA-based therapy as half of the current siRNA-based clinical trials are involved in oncology. However, despite consistent enthusiasm in the academic world, siRNA-based cancer treatment still faces obstacles and difficulties in clinical development. In this article, we discuss key challenges facing siRNA-based cancer treatment revealed from recent clinical and preclinical studies, including chemical modification, tumour penetration, endosomal escape, target selection and off-target effects. In addition, opportunities and avenues for translating siRNA technology from bench to oncologic clinics are explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Letters
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2017


  • Endosome escape
  • EPR effect
  • Nanoparticle
  • Off-target
  • RNA interference
  • Tumour

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